sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013

Gaudi, a diverse universe.

The last month of July I taught  art in Barcelona to teenagers from the USA and/or Europe. During the time of class we also went to visit some places in the city. One of these places was La Casa Batlló, so today it is a day to discover Antonio Gaudi and his universe.

But who is Antonio Gaudi? Antonio Gaudi is a Spanish architect who was born in Reus (Tarragona). He was the figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudi´s works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and largely concentrated in Barcelona. His Magnum opus is La Sagrada Familia.

But today I am going to talk about La Casa Batllo. La casa Batllo is a building located at 43, Paseo de Gracia (Barcelona). It was built in 1877 and it was remodelled by Antonio Gaudi and J.Maria Jojol in 1904 - 06.

Detail of one of the lamps on the 1st floor.

The ceiling is wavy, in allusion to the sea. It features an ingenious whirlpool effect which Gaudí achieved using an esparto plaster filling and which evokes the power of the sea.
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones) as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.

A view of the back door. (In the ground balcony).
The ground floor is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.

View of the back of the house and the adjoining buildings.

Inner courtyard

Detail of some of the mosaic composed of pieces of glass and ceramic discs.

Inside the loft.

The loft features a series of 60 catenary arches, creating a space which evokes the ribcage of an animal – perhaps the dragon which sits above it, on the roof terrace, which is accessed by spiral stairs.
The roof 
The roof, which enjoys excellent views over Barcelona, is an universe of shapes, figures and textures.

It is dominated by what is affectionately known as the dragon’s back, which sets the facade apart. Gaudí represents an animal’s spine using tiles of different colors on one side, and colored using the trencadís mosaic technique on the side facing inwards towards the roof terrace.

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